Aug 162020


I passed a cognitive test this morning. It was even easier than “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.” I turned down the offer to ride around in a golf cart and watch four of my idiot friends embarrass themselves in heat that’s expected to hit 100°F before they finish.

Instead I stayed behind in the place we rented for this mini-vacation with another person who also passed the test, surrounded by vistas of forest and mountains. And I listened to a lot of new black metal, and I wrote this post, which comes in two parts.


The first song in this collection is a fiery storm of sound – synths gloriously burning high overhead, the riffing flowing in scintillating waves and flickering in a mad boil, the vocals a mix of a larynx-lacerating torment and ravaged roars.

At times the surging rhythm section relents, and the music becomes gloomy, but in the main this is a blood-rushing spectacle.

Ikameshiki“, like every other song on this concept album, is based on a poem by Matsuo Bashō, a 17th century Japanese master of haiku.

The album, Utterly Away, will be released by Naturmacht Productions on September 25th. Pre-orders will launch on September 11.










Earth-rumbling depth in the low end, a gripping drum performance, and riffs that savagely rake and seethe with unnerving dissonance… plus the shining trill of beguiling but beleaguered guitar melodies and varied forms of spine-tingling vocal intensity — all of these qualities make the song a transfixing experience (and a disturbing one).

The song is “Extinction I” and it comes from an album named Cosmogonie that will be released on October 9th by Signal Rex and Egregor Records.










These purveyors of black metal steeped in the lore of the old American West are returning with a new album, and the last song in Part I of today’s column is the record’s first single. The song feels like a story, one that’s ominous and tragic, but also searing in its intensity.

You can feel the heat of high plains and roaring engines on the rails, see the shadow of the hangman’s noose, sense the desperation and doom of times when life wasn’t worth a plugged nickel. And be careful, because this track gets under the skin real fast….

The song is “The Iron Horse (Gallows Frontier, Act II)“. The album is A Romance With Violence. It will be released on October 16th by Profound Lore.





  1. Glad to have my Colorado boys Wayfarer back, still killing it.

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